keeping Israeli sovereignty over a "United Jerusalem" - Sharon wows them in New York (JERUSALEM POST) By Melissa Radler New York 03/23/01)
JERUSALEM POST Articles-Index-Top
NEW YORK (March 23) - Capping off his first visit to the US as prime
minister, Ariel Sharon addressed a hotel conference room packed with
more than 1,500 supporters Wednesday night at the Sheraton New York.
Sponsored by Israel Bonds and the Conference of Presidents of
American Jewish Organizations, the midtown Manhattan event brought
together Jewish leaders from across the political and religious
spectrum as well as top New York City officials, including Mayor
Rudolph Giuliani. Sheikh Abdul Hadi Palazzi of Italy, who has been a
vocal supporter of a united Jerusalem under Israeli control, was also
In his address, Sharon emphasized Diaspora Jewry´s
toward Israel, including the responsibility of keeping Israeli
sovereignty over a united Jerusalem.
"Jerusalem and the Temple
Mount, the holiest site of Judaism, belongs
to all the Jewish people," said Sharon. "Jerusalem belongs to you not
less than ourselves. You are obliged to stand and to raise your
voices. That is your obligation and you have to speak out about it,"
Sharon also talked of his vision of Israel´s future,
which he said is
based on bringing one million more immigrants to Israel by the year
2020; strengthening Jewish education in Israel and the Diaspora;
building new communities in "areas of national priority," developing
water resources, and continuing economic growth to compete in the
Concerning Israel´s fast-growing hi-tech
industry, which has seen
$3.2 billion in investments since 1999, Sharon pitched investment
opportunities in Israel to those wary of the recent financial
instability in the US markets."Maybe now is not the time to say it -
I´m sure that the situation here will change, but in any case, try us
there," Sharon said, to audience laughter.
Sharon also briefed
the audience on his meeting earlier this week
with US President George W. Bush, and described a US-Israeli
relationship that differs markedly from that during the Clinton-Barak
and Clinton-Netanyahu years.
"Altogether, I would say I did not
leave anything without an answer,"
said Sharon. "Things may be accepted [or] may not be accepted, but
everyone knows the Israeli position. That will be the way I´m going
to conduct our policy in the future. Things should be clear."
One of the issues discussed with Bush was missile defense, and
said that Israel and the US are working together to develop and
strengthen mutual defense capabilities and deterrence. Sharon said
his support of missile defense stems from the belief that diplomacy
must be backed by deterrence.
Sharon also talked about Israel´s
new approach to the conflict with
the Palestinians, which is based on non-belligerency and a long-term
"More than ever, Israel needs security zones
to protect it from the
growing dangers in the Middle East, and the Palestinians need
contiguity and a better economic future," he said. Sharon added that
the road to peace includes the removal of anti-Jewish hatred and
incitement from Palestinian media and textbooks.
the podium was Mayor Giuliani, who presented Sharon with
New York memorabilia, including a extra-large New York City jacket,
baseball caps for his grandchildren, and an NYPD T-shirt with Hebrew
"I´m confident [that] with the change of leadership
in Israel and the
change of leadership in the United States, there´s hope for
establishing peace with security, strength and confidence," said
Giuliani. In January, Giuliani hosted a press conference in New
York´s City Hall in which he expressed support for united Jerusalem
under Israeli sovereignty.
Conference of Presidents chairman
Ronald Lauder, who has been
criticized by some Jewish leaders here for publicly advocating for an
undivided Jerusalem, called on the Jewish community to unite behind
"Never since its founding in 1948 has Israel been in a
position and never has it needed unity more both here and in Israel,"
"Let no one fear joining us and publicly
proclaiming in the halls of
power, at the negotiating table, that Jerusalem is the united,
eternal capital of Israel.
Such stipulations don´t threaten
peace, they assure it," said
Lauder. "I must say that Jerusalem could not be in better hands than
with Prime Minister Arik Sharon." (© 1995-2001, The Jerusalem Post -
Return to Top
MATERIAL REPRODUCED FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY